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Still No Solution To Xport And Hdtv?


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#1 emuola

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 07:45 AM

It's hard to believe, that there seems to be no answer to the problem with xport emulators and hdtv resolution. I can start the emulators, but when I try to set the resolution to 720p, the screen gets corrupted sad.gif This is a real shame, 'cause otherwise the emus are pure fun. Could someone please give me some info?

#2 hargle

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 08:45 PM

There's no solution entirely because the source code for xport's emulators are locked away in his basement somewhere.

Unfortunately, xport himself also seems to be locked away somewhere as it's been a year+ since he's shown up here. Without the code and the code master, there is no hope for any fix.

sigh.



#3 sp0n

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 02:50 AM

It is a problem with the newer xboxes and their video chip. Older xbox units do not have this problem. I suggest picking up a v1.0 xbox and modding it. it is worth it if you have a hdtv.
see this thread http://forums.xbox-s...hp/t424865.html

#4 emuola

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:35 AM

Da*n sad.gif This was just what I assumed, because it's the only thing that makes sense. I have a 1.6 box sad.gif The da*n xcalibur seems to be a real pain in the back for many xbox homebrew projects. Ok I can set my tv to display the 480i pretty nicely, but ofcourse it would be great to see the old games in 720p. I'm gonna start a petition to get the source for the xport's emus or an update from the guy himself. I hope you guys "join the tune" wink.gif Oh, and one more thing: How can I set up 2 joystics properly for a two player game in vice64x and winuaex? Don't tell me it's also a thing that doesn't work sad.gif

#5 hargle

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:10 AM

QUOTE(emuola @ Nov 29 2005, 09:42 AM) View Post

I'm gonna start a petition to get the source for the xport's emus or an update from the guy himself. I hope you guys "join the tune" wink.gif


Oh, believe me, I will be joining in that petition.
I've already offered a bounty of $250 for the complete set, with the agreement that I will make them all open source upon receiving them so we can collectively get out of this situation.



#6 Chron Johnson

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 12:45 AM

If that bounty is indeed only to be offered to XPort then I would imagine it would cheapen his exhaustive efforts and serve to insult him. I sort of liked it better when it was a true bounty on current, compilable sources, open to all bounty hunters. As to the 720p problem, is this distinct from the problem whereby an emulator launched in progressive scan mode will in fact launch in interlaced mode, or vice versa, and appear scrambled? This happens to me on the plasma, but for some reason not all the time. It's a luck of the draw thing. 1.6 Box here with the XCalibur. Is the XCalibur really what's dreaded? I've heard that launching from a dash that does not auto adjust the launched application to the set resolution will solve the problem...case in point launching from Evolution X instead of XBMC. I've yet to explore this, but I wonder if this alleged problem with XPort's code is in fact solvable with current tools and by current means. Because the same problem happens with FBA-XXX and Surreal XXX for me, if indeed we're talking about the same difficulty in getting a newer XBox to output emulators in HD.

#7 emuola

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 08:48 AM

Ok, if that's the case I'm not burying my box just yet wink.gif I have only tried Avalaunc, which sets the resolution automatically, so that could be the case. I'll try evox, so that we'll see how it goes. I haven't been able to get the 720p to work ever, so I haven't been so lucky as you wink.gif Please reply, if any progress is made.

#8 hargle

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 05:43 PM

QUOTE(Chron Johnson @ Dec 1 2005, 12:52 AM) View Post

If that bounty is indeed only to be offered to XPort then I would imagine it would cheapen his exhaustive efforts and serve to insult him. I sort of liked it better when it was a true bounty on current, compilable sources, open to all bounty hunters.


This is an excellent point. (and sorry for hijacking the 720p thread)

I was looking at the bounty as more of an incentive for xport to get paid for spending 10 minutes of his life zipping up his current source tree and putting it on xbins, then he can go back to his real life for as long as he'd like.

However, as the situation continues to decay, that reward might just have to paid to the first one to offer them up!

So far, it's a bit of a moot point, since no one is even hinting that they have the sources.

#9 guybird

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 05:59 PM

I have the dreaded "scrambled screen of death" whenever I enable 480p in my MS dash. My tv supports it, as I play many games that support 480p with it on, but for whatever reason, the emus will not boot properly with it turned on. So this creates a huge burden of:
Do I want to play an emulator? If so then go turn off 480p
Do I want to play xbox games? If so then gurn on 480p

Its so annoying as you'll forget what you last set it to, and have to do multiple reboots in order to square everything away. On a similar note, whenever I boot FBA with the 480p off (else it gets scrambled) and then try to turn on progressive scan, it gets once again scrambled. Is it due to the 480p not being enabled? Or is it really enabling 720p and is just getting corrupted? I know I've had this working before (and I can't recall the scrambled screen always existing), so I'm wondering if its more of an issue with UnleashX? Seems to me that when I used EvoX, that I never had this issue, and it wasn't until I switched dashes that this problem occured. Might need to do some troubleshooting and see when & where it really occurs. I'm not so sure that it is a xbox version or a tv set problem as I've seen this occur on different versions, and different tvs.

#10 hargle

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 11:09 PM

Have you tried this running xbmc as your emu launcher?
IIRC, xbmc turns off the video hardware before launching another application, which might just set/reset the video chip to the correct mode.

It's certainly worth a shot trying different launching apps as you've suggested.

As I've said before, if you can find some detailed hardware bit level setting that needs to be done before launching the emulator, I can certainly create a small patch program to run before running the emu.

dashboard->runs patcher->sets bits in hardware->runs emu.

If you want to get me an HDTV and a 1.6 xbox, I'd gladly work on this problem for you. wink.gif




#11 Chron Johnson

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 01:36 AM

Well there are like 15 things for me to speak to and reply to here, and I'm pretty tired so the brain is slow. First to the most recent point, about launching via XBMC...this, like Avalaunch and I believe UnleashX, causes me to suffer the exact same problems as guybird. The FBA-XXX series of errors reads exactly like my experience. In fact, most recently I launched the Halo Multiplayer Map Installer, an NTSC program, first with XBMC. It booted scrambled, but v-hold style black and white as if it were a cheap dvd player trying to play PAL. This was in 480i mode on my normal TV. The solution?

As with our emulator difficulties, the solution was to boot the application from Evo-X (trying UnleashX first caused the same PAL flicker). Version 1.6 box of course with the XCalibur. So collectively, that gives us a problem with launch resolutions and methods from Avalaunch, XBMC, and UnleashX...the trimvirate of Advanced dashboards. Are they simply too smart for the XCalibur? Evo-X, with its simplicity, somehow allows an XBox to boot apps in the resolution they ought to be in, it seems.

The thing to do would really be to take the xbox downstairs and try to play some emulators in 720p and/or 480p. Any suggestions for a procedure? If I set the XBox to be in both 480p and 720p is that best for a 720p-optimized television? I usually do that, as the settings allow it. Could that be problematic? If a game that cannot play in 720p but can in 480p were to be launched, my thinking was that enabling 480p along with my preferred 720p would allow the app to boot in 480p. I supposed I'll try them each alone, booting from various dashboards.

Another talking point...what happened with the emulator art? Did everyone who was interested enough in them to actually install them successfully just go and make their own? I still can't figure out how to create box covers for my GBA roms. (that's for guybird, don't get confused). As to the bounty on X-Port's source code...what if we think of a nice gift for the holidays or something. So he knows he's missed and not forgotten.

#12 hargle

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:08 PM

QUOTE(Chron Johnson @ Dec 8 2005, 01:43 AM) View Post

First to the most recent point, about launching via XBMC...this, like Avalaunch and I believe UnleashX, causes me to suffer the exact same problems as guybird. The FBA-XXX series of errors reads exactly like
...
The solution was to boot the application from Evo-X (trying UnleashX first caused the same PAL flicker). Version 1.6 box of course with the XCalibur. So collectively, that gives us a problem with launch resolutions and methods from Avalaunch, XBMC, and UnleashX...the trimvirate of Advanced dashboards. Are they simply too smart for the XCalibur? Evo-X, with its simplicity, somehow allows an XBox to boot apps in the resolution they ought to be in, it seems.


OK, that makes sense. something (bios?) is turning on the correct bits in the xcalibur chip to allow the machine to boot up in the correct video mode. Evox, being simplistic, doesn't futz with the video hardware when it launches another application. Advanced dashboards like xbmc, unleashx, etc, disable the video hardware before launching another application, which resets some magic bits in the xcalibur chip, making it go to a scrambled mode.

Soooo, a possible solution would be:
1) boot into evox, launch a program that sucks out the contents of the xcal chip for us to investigate.
2) boot into xbmc, launch the same program and see what is different.
3) write the patcher program, described in previous posts, to set the bits back the way they were from the evox dash.

I *might* be able to write such programs. Dumping and tweaking bits out of hardware is my day job. It's an easy task to do on a PC, but I'm still a little shaky in xbox development. I also don't have a 1.6 or an HDTV, so I can't really test anything I come up with. I will investigate if this xcal chip has documentation online that I can check to see how to access it.



#13 emuola

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 01:33 PM

I post this reply to clear out how this problem behaves exactly with (my) 1.6 xbox. I hope this helps to find out the reason for the problems:

1. If I have set the 480p and 720p support from the ms dash and use Avalaunch the xport emulators start with scrambled screen. It seems it's the 480p (when enabled from the ms dash) that makes the screen corrupted. When I have only 720p enabled emulators start up just fine.

2. No matter what modes are enabled from the ms dash, I can never set the resolution to any other than 480i from the emulators menu without scrambled screen if I use Avalaunch.

3. But if I use Evox as my dash I actually can have the resolution 480p enabled from the ms dash and the emus start up just fine. I can even set the resolution from the emulators menu to 480p. No luck with 720p though.

I just tried to make things clearer wink.gif

#14 guybird

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 02:30 PM

Well I finally got around to testing a few of my theories on this and this is what I've found:
When booting from EvoX with 480p enabled in my M$ dash, everything is fine, no scramble.
When booting from Unleashx with 480p enabled, scrambled.
When booting from XBMC with 480p enabled, scrambled.

I have a 1.5 xbox with a Duox2 chip, so I doubt that it is either a xbox version or a chip problem. I'm thinking that its definitely an advanced dashboard bug. With that being said, hargle I think you should be able to test this theory out with any version of xbox, any type of chip and get the same results. Or I might just be totally talking out of my ass and it might be more of a problem with our tv sets? I've only seen a handful of complaints about this issue on the forums, although more people might have an issue with it and just haven't spoken up. Is there any way to configure a shortcut to a "customized" evox that would pretty much autoboot a particular emulator? For example, somehow configure an evox.ini to only show 1 emulator, and autoboot it upon launch, put this evox.xbe and evox.ini into that emulator's folder, and then make a shortcut to that evox in unleash/avalaunch/xbmc ? Seems that would be a very easy way to do this although a bit clumsier.

On a similar note, even after booting into FBA with EvoX, and with 720p turned on & off, I still can't get FBA to display in Progressive scan mode. Was there some changes made in the latest versions that messed up that feature? I distinctly remember being able to enable it sometime in the past.

#15 hargle

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 04:45 PM

QUOTE(guybird @ Dec 14 2005, 02:37 PM) View Post

Is there any way to configure a shortcut to a "customized" evox that would pretty much autoboot a particular emulator? For example, somehow configure an evox.ini to only show 1 emulator, and autoboot it upon launch, put this evox.xbe and evox.ini into that emulator's folder, and then make a shortcut to that evox in unleash/avalaunch/xbmc ? Seems that would be a very easy way to do this although a bit clumsier.


That's pretty much what I was describing as my "bridge" program to fix this too. No idea if you can do this in evox, but I know that I can do it if I write something up!

I'm hoping to find some time in the next week or so to write up a small utility to dump out the video encoder registers to a file. I was able to find the datasheets for the conexant and rockwell video encoder parts, but nothing on the xcalibur. Since all 3 of these devices are SMBus devices located at the same address, I should be able to write 1 dump utility for all 3 parts. OpenXDK has all the functions in it that I'll need to access the part and dump to a text file, so I can make this whole thing legally downloadable from here, so I'll need some volunteers to run the app and send me the output. (I don't have an HDTV)

I also have a 1.6 xbox at my disposal for the next couple weeks, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get something put together.

My theory is still that the video part is set up differently or disabled when exiting different dashboards, so with this utility, we should be able to just launch it from different dashboards, gather up the output files and if we see a difference, then we might have a chance at correcting it in a little custom app that then launches an emulator.

Stay tuned...





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